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SBA Business Matchmaker Resources Lend CASNY a Helping Hand
Dolly Michelle Randle tapped the resources available at the SBA’s Annual Business Matchmaker for help growing her compliance and administrative services business in Buffalo, in 2013.
Before starting Compliance and Administrative Services of New York (CASNY), Randle, a native of Buffalo, had been an Administrator for over 20 years at several large firms. But what she wanted most in life was to tackle the challenge of becoming an entrepreneur.
“Entrepreneurs often face challenges of deciding when and how to start their own business, “said Randle. “For me, it was my career that helped me identify my niche for my new company, and then I had to locate the right resources to make it a success.”
In 2009, Randle started CASNY which provides, professional services for large firms in need of administrative outsourcing, support, and training, compliance monitoring, event planning, MBE/WBE consulting and networking events.
From the start of her launch, Randle turned to the Women’s Business Center at Canisius College, the region’s most comprehensive resource for business and professional women, and was able to boost CASNY with the critical skills, tools, knowledge and support to help grow her business.
“The WBC not only provided me with the tools and information needed to launch my business, they gave me additional SBA Resources to connect with. Andrea Lizak, business advisor at the Small Business Development Center at Buffalo State College provided assistance including materials about how to create my business plan. I also found help from SCORE Buffalo Niagara who provided free advice; help with my business name and encouragement.”
Eager to grow her business, Randle turned to the SBA’s Annual Business Matchmaker event.
SBA’s Business Matchmaking is a co-sponsored event with SCORE Buffalo Niagara and Business First of Buffalo. It provides opportunities for small businesses to schedule individual appointments with government and procurement officials regarding potential contracts. The program’s events also include networking, SBA Resources contacts and information, education sessions, awards luncheon and exposition where small businesses can also reach potential customers throughout the day.
Randle has attended the SBA Matchmaker since 2000. She was impressed by the large number of SBA resources available to her. According to Randle, CASNY opened her satellite office in Rochester this November. According to Randle, because of the valuable assistance she received from SCORE she has been able to penetrate the Rochester market and plans to utilize the services of the SBA in Rochester as well.
Thrilled with her first resource connection, Randle continued throughout the day receiving small business advice from mentors and advisors from the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers to the Erie County Division of Equal Employment Opportunity.
“I can’t say enough good things about SBA and the resources they provide,” said Randle. “They have been a tremendous advantage for our current growth. They continuously look out for small business, and without resources and advice like this, I would have never had this growth.”
Randle has been a crusader for small business since attending SBA’s Business Matchmaker. She is the new chairman elect for the Urban Chamber of Commerce, member of the Buffalo State College ICE Advisory Council, committee representative for the Beverly Gray MWBE Incubator, and created a business networking series for minority-owned small business, and business survival series. Randle is also researching opportunities to expand into her business throughout New York State.
“The SBA Business Matchmaker has developed into a destination for Western New York firms to find local resources which helps maximize the growth of small business throughout our region.” said Franklin Sciortino, district director of the SBA Buffalo district office.
The SBA Buffalo District Office, SCORE Buffalo Niagara and Business First will host the 9th Annual Small Business Matchmaker on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. For more information and to view this year’s brochure, please visit SBA at www.sba.gov/ny/buffalo.
The SBA provides small business counseling and training through a variety of programs and resource partners. For more information, please contact your local SBA Buffalo district office at (716) 551-4301 or visit us online at www.sba.gov.